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The Best Thanksgiving Ever!
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, hands down. And Thanksgiving recipes are my favorite to prepare (perhaps because of all the wine consumed while cooking… the world may never know).
And while Thanksgivng may look a little different this year, that doesn’t mean your holiday table should be any less delicious. Whether you’re cooking Thanksgiving dinner for 1, 2, or 10 these recipes are uncomplicated, easy to prepare, and ridiculously delicious.
And hey, aren’t Thanksgiving recipes really intended to be next-day leftovers anyway? So go ahead – cook, drink, celebrate!
There’s always so much to be grateful for and this collection of the absolute best Thanksgiving recipes will help you to create a Thanksgiving dinner that’s truly memorable.
Thanksgiving Recipes – Turkey
Don’t let the name fool you: this Thanksgiving turkey is anything but dry. What I love about this recipe, aside from the incredibly juicy turkey meat, is the fact that it uses ingredients that you likely already have on hand and it doesn’t require a roasting pan!
Cooking for a small group this year? Try cooking a breast instead of the whole bird! Most butchers will offer a bone-in breast as an option but, if not, just ask ahead and they’ll trim it down for you. This turkey breast recipe is a staple thanksgiving recipe – the meat is so moist and flavorful, you won’t even miss the dark meat!
This is a classic recipe from nearly 30 years ago that still holds it’s own on today’s Thanksgiving tables. What sets this turkey recipe apart is the glaze; the aroma of the apple cider and honey is everything we love about the holiday season and the sweetness it adds to the bird and gravy makes for a perfectly balanced plate.
A perfect, classic roast Turkey recipe from Ina is always a hit. This is the perfect Thanksgiving turkey recipe for beginners, or for those who prefer a traditionally prepared bird. Seasoned with herbs and lemon, this turkey is moist, delicious, and exactly what you hope for when you think of Thanksgiving dinner.
More of a how-to than a recipe, this basic set of instructions is great to keep on hand with your Thanksgiving recipe collection. The beauty behind this method is in its simplicity, and the freedom to use whichever vegetables, herbs, and spices you prefer for a perfect bird, every time.
This Thanksgiving turkey recipe is a special one. Maple syrup is glazed over the bird during the last hour of cooking, creating a crystallized crust that is both sweet and savory, and totally crave-worthy. I love the way the gravy takes on the maple flavor as well. The perfect addition to all the savory side dishes!
As you might guess, this Turkey is a show-stopper. The spicy-sweet glaze is OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD. This is an easy recipe, as the bird is initially roasted with simply butter, salt and pepper. The glaze is added in the last 15 minutes of roasting, creating a sweet, glossy exterior that makes for a stunning centerpiece on your Thanksgiving table.
Accidents can be a good thing, and that’s precisely what’s at work here. This turkey is prepped days in advance of the big day, leaving you time for other dishes as the celebration nears. This results in a beautifully roasted turkey with extra crispy skin, a personal favorite in my family.
Thanksgiving Recipes – Sides
I love serving simple vegetable sides to break up the heavier dishes like mashed potatoes and dressing. These Brussels sprouts are easy to prepare and difficult to screw up. They’re packed with flavor and pair nicely with all the traditional Thanksgiving dishes.
Sorry all you marshmallow fans out there, this crumbly pecan topping has you beat. But fear not, this sweet potato casserole is plenty sweet without the marshmallows; the sweet potatoes get a pumpkin pie-like makeover and the buttery crumb topping is next level. It’s the perfect sweet addition to your Thanksgiving plate.
Nothing says holiday quite like a tart cranberry. In this beautiful kale salad, the kale is massaged with the sweet dressing, and the combo of citrus and cranberries is fresh and balanced. This vegan Thanksgiving recipe is a welcomed distraction from the richer components of the meal.
This dish is like Autumn on a plate! I absolutely love the heartiness of the farro with the earthy squash, sweet apples, and kick of acid from the sherry vinegar. A perfectly balanced and healthy Thanksgiving side dish that pairs beautifully with the heavier components of the meal.
Why stick with classic mashed potatoes when you can turn them up a notch? These baked mashed potatoes remind me of a twice-baked potato and are cheesy, creamy, and crispy all at the same time. And they can be prepped ahead of time and stored in the fridge until you’re ready to bake – how easy is that?
Whether it’s from a can, in relish form, or slow-simmered, all cranberry sauce recipes have one thing in common: they’re loaded with sugar to offset the natural tartness and slight bitterness of the cranberries. Here, apple cider and dates are used instead and the end result is a cranberry sauce that everyone can agree on.
Fun fact: dressing is just stuffing that’s cooked outside of the bird so these days most “stuffing” is actually dressing. This is the epitome of a classic stuffing (err… dressing) recipe and is just what you want alongside your other Thanksgiving side dishes. I like to add 2 tsp of Poultry Seasoning in addition to the herbs for extra Stovetop-like nostalgia.
Thanksgiving Recipes – Desserts
Can’t decide between a Pumpkin Pie and a Cheesecake? Well, good news, you don’t have to. This recipe from Cooking Light has been an Autumn favorite of mine for years. It has the perfect balance of pumpkin spice goodness, but not too much to overpower that classic cheesecake tang.
Didn’t get your fill of dressing or stuffing? No problem, you can have it for dessert too! This bread pudding recipe is ingenious – it uses melted vanilla ice cream as the base so there is no need to make a custard. And that whiskey caramel sauce? I recommend making a double batch and putting it on… everything.
Salty and sweet desserts are my favorite (hence my salty-sweet brown butter blondies) and this easy sheet cake from Handle the Heat checks all the boxes. It has the classic Autumn flavors of a caramel apple all wrapped up in an easy sheet cake. The perfect Thanksgiving dessert, without all the fuss.
If the thought of baking a whole pecan pie feels like a bit much this year, make these tasty pecan squares instead! I love serving these instead of a traditional pecan pie because they are easier to prepare and they’re less gooey than their pie counterpart. Perfect with an after dinner espresso, wouldn’t you say?
Looking for something a little lighter after the big meal? These healthy pumpkin cookies won’t weigh you down. They are super easy to bake up and can be made a day ahead. I love a casual assortment of easy, finger-food desserts after Thanksgiving dinner. Set a plate of these cookies alongside the pecan squares for a delicious, low-maintenance dessert.
I love this apple crisp recipe so much that I make it all season long. It’s the perfect dessert for Thanksgiving, as it’s a bit lighter than traditional apple pie. The buttery, crumbly oat topping is the perfect complement to the tart apple filling (I like to use Granny Smiths here). Serve this one hot with a scoop of vanilla or cinnamon ice cream.
What happens when you combine bourbon, chocolate, and pecans? Pure. Magic. This is a favorite recipe of mine. I love the depth of flavor from the bourbon and the bitterness from the unsweetened chocolate. It’s a less sweet, complex, insanely delicious pecan pie recipe that your family is sure to love.
Ok, if you aren’t a pecan pie fan but like the idea of bourbon in your dessert recipes, you must try this bourbon pumpkin pie. It is an elevated take on a classic, with a chocolate crust, sumptuous pumpkin filling, and irresistible crackly, crispy top. No kitchen torch? No problem. Snag one from Amazon or just skip the brulée. This pie is a show-stopper either way.